fter a car crash in Virginia, you’d think to contact several people: A close family member or spouse so that you can let them know you’re okay. If you sustained a severe injury, you might call for emergency medical help. You may even consider contacting your employer and letting them know you can’t make it to work on time.
But one person missing from this list is a car accident lawyer. This oversight is understandable, given that a lawyer cannot help treat your physical injuries or provide you with a ride to work or home. However, place this person near the top of your list every time, and here’s why.
Eight Tasks Your Car Accident Lawyer Will Help You Complete
Even though your car accident lawyer may be unable to assist you with your most immediate needs, there are several good reasons to call them as soon as possible. First and foremost, involving your attorney soon after your wreck can increase your opportunity to successfully and quickly resolve any injury claim you may have.
Your attorney can help you accomplish the following necessary tasks:
Help You File an Insurance Claim
Filing an insurance claim with your insurance company is complex, and filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance can be even more complicated. But your attorney can complete the necessary forms on your behalf and provide supporting documentation when needed. If required, your car accident lawyer will also prepare you for giving a statement about the crash and can handle any questions the adjustor may have for you.
Obtain the Police Accident Report
While it may seem inconsequential, obtaining a copy of the accident report is often the first step in preparing a car crash lawsuit. This report contains information about witnesses and potential causes of the crash—information that will prove crucial in developing your claim.
Though obtaining the police report may be simple, knowing how to request it can take some time. Your time is better spent keeping appointments and recovering from your injuries while your attorney gathers and analyzes the accident report.
Assess the Harm You Sustained and the Compensation You Need
In a car wreck, you can suffer several types of harm, including physical injuries, emotional damage, and mental trauma. All of these losses are potentially compensable in a Virginia car accident lawsuit, but only if you can quantify and support the compensation you seek.
It can be difficult to calculate the necessary compensation by yourself, but your attorney can help you collect your medical bills, invoices, treatment plans, and other documentation and witnesses you need to obtain the maximum compensation possible in your case.
Speak with Witnesses to the Crash
The accident report can only tell you so much about your crash, and your memory of the wreck may not be complete. You may need to speak with witnesses to the collision to determine the full extent of your rights.
However, tracking these individuals down and talking with them can take time and effort. Thankfully, your car accident lawyer can speak with these individuals and assess their usefulness to any future car accident claim you may file.
Collect Other Evidence to Support Your Claim
You want the strongest claim possible. After all, a strong suit increases your chances of obtaining the compensation for your injuries. But supporting your claim with only witness statements is risky, as witness observations can be erroneous.
For this reason, supporting your injury claim with photographs, reconstruction reports, dash cam footage, and other objective evidence is advisable. Your car accident lawyer can help you identify and collect these items.
Engage in Settlement Negotiations
Negotiating a fair and appropriate settlement for your case takes skill and time. It can often take several rounds of negotiations before the parties reach an appropriate settlement. In some of these negotiations, the party with more tenacity and a better command of the facts is the party that walks away in a stronger position.
Unless you engage in negotiations for your living, you likely do not possess the skills necessary to prevail in settlement negotiations. You may give away too much in the negotiations or unnecessarily surrender a solid bargaining position. And unfortunately, once parties reach a settlement, undoing the agreement to obtain additional compensation is nearly impossible.
So leave the settlement negotiations to a skilled car accident lawyer familiar with your case. The sooner you retain an attorney to help you with your case, the sooner settlement negotiations can begin.
Prepare Your Case for Trial
If settlement negotiations are not fruitful and the offer does not fully address your losses, then the only path forward is to take your case to trial. But trials can be incredibly complicated, requiring a knowledge of Virginia law, trial strategy, and rules of evidence. You must know how to present evidence in court and have the tools available to get that evidence—and witnesses—to court in the first place.
Knowing how to persuasively present a claim for compensation in court is a skill honed over years of practice. Therefore, your car accident lawyer is in a much better position to win your case.
Appeal Your Case or Claim
If you do not obtain the legal relief you need through the claim process or trial, you may have further rights to have the adverse decision reviewed. These options are not always available, and strict deadlines and procedural requirements often govern them. Your attorney will be more familiar with your options and how to pursue them.
Calling a Car Accident Lawyer Should Be a Priority
lthough your attorney can do little to help you recover physically, contacting your attorney quickly following an accident can maximize your chances of getting the compensation you need.
So once you’ve secured your physical safety and gotten the medical help you need, contact Virginia personal injury lawyer. Allow them to prepare and present your claim and protect your legal rights while you continue with your physical healing.